Saigon - The Beautiful City

In Saigon itself which was our base, death seemed to chase us but we escaped. There were theatres in Saigon to which we would go for watching pictures and the Viet Cong put a bomb and when we just came out of the theatre it would burst killing instantly those were still inside.

Or we would go to a floating restaurant on the river mouth and we had choice food and Viet Cong would have planted a bomb which would burst soon after we left the floating restaurant.

My Wife Learning French

I used to go to the office daily when my wife was left with a Vietnamese companion who used to teach her French and she in turn would teach English to the Vietnamese friends.

We had access to the American food supply and could get cheaply apples, oranges, and all kinds of fruits imported from America.

The American troops used to bomb Vietnam in a bid to destroy the communists. It was at this time an American photographed the famous picture of girl running naked to escape from the napalm bomb that fell on her hut at the night. This picture made her famous and she later escaped to the US and settled down there.

What We Disliked in Vietnam

Some of the Vietnamese’s practices of food did not appeal to us. For example back home we used to eat the mango in salt water and the ‘uppilittathu’ was used as a side dish with rice. But the Vietnamese used to eat chicken eggs in salt water. Sometimes this will be half-chicken about to be born. This was sold in the streets and the Vietnamese used to eat this delicious side dish with rice on the roads.

We used to have Indian food in an Indian restaurant run by a Sri Lankan. We used to have Kerala or Sri Lankan-style vegetarian food relished not only by us but also our Canadian friends. The suppliers were girls who knew English and French and who could talk to the customers.

The Americans did not visit this restaurant and we found it was a very safe place for spending time in air-conditioned comfort.

Prostitution in Saigon

Prostitution was rampant in Saigon. Most Indian staff came to Saigon without their family because it was not a family station for outsiders. The day I and my wife landed, a Vietnamese prostitute knocked at our door but finding myself with a woman retreated. The Indian staff had their concubine who used to come every night to sleep with them. The Americans also took advantage of the situation. It was such that every lamp post in the evening had a Vietnamese girl waiting to be picked up for the night.

How war conditions could completely change the human beings struggling for existence.

Brahmin from India

My predecessor was a Brahmin from Andhra Pradesh. He had not sought permission for bringing his wife. He was also very much elder to me. He had a Vietnamese concubine who came to him every night.

Jesus and Confucius

Once we were accosted by a Vietnamese man and taken to a temple which had statues of Buddha, Jesus Christ, Confucius, etc. It was elaborately decorated and I was reminded of Akbar’s Din-E-Ilahi which was a concoction of the religions of the world. This showed that the Vietnamese were very creative and along with war and prostitution, spirituality also thrived in Vietnam. The sermon in French the priest was making was translated to us in English by a Vietnamese girl who said that “Don’t do anything to others which you do not want others to do to you.” I realized that Confucius was alive and Jesus was also along with him.

In Vietnam we were asked where we would like to be posted. We were given the choice of going back to India or to Indian High Commission in Karachi.

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3. Birth of Our Son
4. Commerce
7. God's Own Country
8. Gospel of Guru Sree Narayana
9. Hindu-Christian Marriage
10. Hormis – The Legend of the Banker
11. Jerrys letter to Jenny on citizenship -May 2007
12. Jonas Thaliyath – The Bishop of Rajkot - Biography
15. Letter to 21st Century
16. Letter to Gorbachev
17. Letter to President Barack Obama – Introducing India
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19. Marxism and emancipation of the Underclass in Kerala
20. Mr Krishnakumar - My Punjabi Friend
21. My Childhood Memories
22. My days in Iraq
23. My Father
25. NEW YEAR 2007
26. Our Daughter
27. Our Visit to Sri Lanka
28. Our Youngest Son Born - Jerry Kalarickal
29. P. J. Joseph
30. POEM: Atom Bomb
31. POEM: Avatar of Han Empress
32. POEM: Hosannah of Stars
33. POEM: I Walked With Saints
34. POEM: Oh Storm Never Retreat! (To Indira)
35. POEM: Red States of Europe
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40. Remembering Sony Antony son of Antony Kulangara, Calcutta.
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42. Socialism Communism and Commerce
43. Strange Practices in Kerala
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45. The Two Forms of Worship
46. Udayamperoor Church
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Excerpts from books GOSPEL OF GURU SREENARAYANA, ViswaVidya
Treat pleasure and pain , gain and loss ,victory and defeat ,prosperity and adversity ,heat and cold ,rain and sunshine , day and night and all dwandas alike. The manifested world is a network of dwandas , an endless parade of the opposites. Solve one pair another pair is born with a shrill or a silent shriek....
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